Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Disney Infinity - Preview (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U)

So the time of Disney Infinity is nearly upon us, but what is it? Is it quick attempt to use the popularity of Skylanders to make Disney some more cash (need to fund those new Star Wars films somehow!) or is it something else, something better realised than Activisions popular Model collecting, Platformer? Lets take a closer look.
First off lets get the similarities out of the way. You have character figures and these figures can be purchased separately or in packs. These figures are placed on a portal accessory called "The Infinity Base", to bring the figures to life in the game world. This is where the similarities end.

Disney Infinity also introduces several elements. First of all is "Playsets". Playsets pieces are essentially the key to open the different Disney themed worlds within Infinity. Three playsets are included with the Starter Kit: Monsters University, Pirates of the Carribean and The Incredibles. There are three other playsets to collect in series one and these are available as Playset packs, which include two figures and a the required playset piece. The additional sets are for Cars, Toy Story and one based on Disney's Live action summer blockbuster, The Lone Ranger.

Placing a playset piece on to The Infinty Base allows the player to access that world and play the adventures contained within. You then unlock extra items to be used in the unique Toy Box mode.

Which nicely leads on to the next innovation, the Toy Box. This mode allows players to create their own worlds and adventures using the figures, worlds and unlocks they have gathered. Think of it as a Disney verison of Minecraft / Little Big Planet. It is this mode that has people the most excited. To be able to sculpt your very own personal Disneyland is huge idea and one that is sure to be the most popular feature of the game. Have a look at the World Creation video below to see more of how it works...

As if this wasn't enough then there is also the addition of Power Discs as well. Power Discs come in two varieties, circle and hexagonal. The circle disc when placed on the base below your character figure, bestows the ability of the power disc. That could be Bolt's Super Strength (more damage) or Fix it Felix’s Fix You (health boost). You can actually stack two Power Discs below one figure.

The second type of disc is hexagonal and is used in conjunction with the Playset pieces. These discs added bonus items for to use in the games extensive Toy Box mode. The first series of Power Disc's see items like Mickey’s Jalopy or Cinderella’s Coach to add vehicles or the Tangled Lantern Texture Set or Finding Nemo Skydome to add a new look to the world. There will be 20 Power Discs in series one, 16 hexagonal power discs for Toy Box play, and 4 circle power discs for use in the Play Sets. There can purchased as booster packs which are blind packs of two discs, so you never know what you are going to get.

Finally, there is the small matter of the character figures. There are 20 figures available in series one, three of these are included with the starter kit (Sulley, Jack Sparrow & Mr. Incredible). This first set of figures focus on characters from Monsters University, Cars, The Incredibles, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Lone Ranger. Hopefully, there will be more fan favourites added as the series progresses. I know the Little Gamers are desperate for Disney Princesses and with a certain Disney acquisition, maybe I can get some Star Wars figures in there?

Now it all sounds good, but how much money is this going to set us parents back? The starter kit, which includes the game, The Infinity Base, Three Infinity Figures: Mr. Incredible, Jack Sparrow, and Sulley, Three Infinity Play Sets: Monsters University, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Incredibles and one Infinity Power Disc, can be pre-ordered for between £49.99 and £64.99 depending on platform. The figures are being sold separately, as part of Playset packs and also in figure packs as well. The single figures will retail at £14.99, with the Playset packs going at around £34.99, thats for 2 figures and a Playset piece. Finally there are also character packs, feauturing 3 figures for £29.99. It is a little more pricey than rival, Skylanders, but the sheer amount of content and possibilities make up for the difference in price.

Disney Infinity is shaping to be an truly expansive and immersive creative experience that will please gamers both young and old. I know of Two Little Gamers who cannot wait.

Disney Infinity is available on 23rd August on  Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U and 3DS.

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